• Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Winter,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2020

    We made it! And yes, even 2020 is going to get a recap post! I love these sorts of posts and catching up with what people were up to this year, so here we are. They’re also really wonderful to look back on and see the year as a whole. I know a lot of people choose a word of the year before the year even gets going, but as I do my year-end reflections on the last few days remaining, the word to define the year that was always comes to me. This year would be adapt, of course. And now, a run-down of the year that was… Ah,…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    A Time of Simple Holidays

    Well, it’s hard to write anything without a computer, isn’t it? Fortunately I feel like I have an office again, a little home again, and my brain can sort of organize itself properly. (Note: Try to avoid ever having to purchase a new computer in mid-December. It is not the time.) Here we are in December, finally at the tail end of 2020. Funny about this year. As I’ve now been quite settled in České Budějovice for nearly eight years and counting, there isn’t a lot of expat stuff or cultural differences that I feel compelled to write about. Most of it is no longer so novel. Add to that…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Grieving/Healing

    Perhaps it’s yesterday’s full moon bringing all of these ripe feelings to the surface, but the turn towards Advent time hasn’t been an easy one this year – an odd, uncomfortable feeling towards something that has always felt warm, comforting and joyful. I am still grieving and feeling so many heavy things, mostly a bit different of what I choose to show on the outside, but today, the first of December, I can feel the healing begin. I woke up and tiptoed to the kitchen where I saw a marvelous pink and purple sunrise, welcoming in this new month. As I went out with the dog, the sky was doing…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Thoughts

    October, Lately

    This October – different from all other Octobers. The last of the warm early autumn weather has faded away and it definitely feels like fall now. I caught a bit of a nostalgia wave this week, as I am wont to do in the autumn. Eleven years ago I was visiting one of my best friends in Berlin for two weeks, having the time of my life. Ten years ago was another one of the best Octobers on record with epic festivals, parties, being one of maybe twenty-five people to see one of my favorite bands play Sunset Tavern in Ballard, Seattle. Eight years ago, living the Scottish life as…

  • Daily Life,  Eats,  Herbalism,  Recipe,  Summer

    Three-Day Seasonal Eating Menu: Late Summer

    Here in South Bohemia, like many other parts of the country (and maybe where you live, too), we are lucky to have a bounty of gorgeous vegetables in season this time of year. Five or six years ago I subscribed to our CSA (community-supported agriculture) vegetable box which is usually only available about May-late October, and it has provided us with such delicious organic produce over the years, some vegetables that were totally unknown to me before coming here. (Achocha? Kohlrabi? I had never eaten both in my life!) In between boxes, I’m always at the bi-weekly farmer’s market picking up eggs (especially), fruit and whatever else looks good or…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Summer

    Upgrade Season

    The end of summer is always upgrade season for us kids. It’s usually the time of the year that we come back from whatever summer adventures we’ve undertaken, walk in our house and say man, that table’s got to go or I can’t believe we still haven’t got that print framed. You see, we’ve lived in a furnished flat since the beginning of 2013. Most of our furniture is used and loved hand-me-downs (which I am so, so grateful to have been able to use!) or just whatever furniture that friends of ours don’t want anymore. Because we never knew how long we’d stay, I’ve always been reluctant to purchase…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  South Bohemia,  Summer

    The Saturday of Summer

    July, my favorite month of all – the Saturday of summer! It blew in with a flurry of gatherings, barbecues and a spot of camping at a lake (Lipno, naturally) at the beginning of the month. Camping in Europe has been… interesting. This was our third camping trip here in Central Europe and I have to say, I really prefer American camping a bit better! Usually for tent campers, you get literally just a patch of grass on which to pitch your tent and nothing else. No picnic table or fire pit unless you go to a campground with a bit more of a bougie situation. Also, we don’t have…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life

    Is the Czech Republic the Dog-Friendliest Country in Europe?

    When you live across the world from family and you have a dog, you can pretty much just plan on bringing your dog everywhere with you. Face it – you have little other choice. (I love my dog, but I’m not bringing him everywhere because I necessarily have to have him near me) This was the first consideration we had when deciding which breed – it had to be small and incredibly portable. Also, it helped that we knew from four years of experience living here just how dog friendly the Czech Republic really is. If we had to bring our dog everywhere, there is no better country to do…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Summer

    Late Spring / Early Summer

    Happy happy summer! I’ve been celebrating the arrival of this ever joyous season with cafe days, double scoops of ice cream, trip planning and rediscovering the joy of reading outdoors in the warm, sun-filled evenings (above) when we are lucky enough to have them! It comes in such a short window every year that I sort of forget about it until it happens. There’s been a literal stack of books I’ve been trying to get through as a part of two book club (“reading circles”) I’ve been participating in… reminding me how nice it would just be to pluck a book from the shelf and read what I felt like.…

  • Daily Life,  Spring,  Thoughts

    The Earth is Shifting

    Hello, friends. What a strange but impactful few weeks it has been. In the days leading up to last week of May, I had rare bout of anxiety about the world opening up again after the worst of Coronatimes had wound down here in the Czech Republic. When the director of your school e-mails you and starts into “good news! we can go back to school!”, it’s incredibly unsettling because for the previous two months, we had all been unlearning how to be and teach at school. How to do everything from home. How wonderful having no commutes were, let’s be honest. That first week back, I was a little…